English at Newhaven School

English is so much more than the gateway to success in other curriculum subjects. Through studying literature, pupils’ eyes are opened to the human experience; they explore meaning and ambiguity as well as the beauty and power of language. English also has a strong creative and expressive dimension.

You will study English if you have yet to achieve level 2. This may be at GCSE or Entry Level. We can discuss with you and your parents which option is the most appropriate for you.

We want to provide our students with skills which enrich their lives and help prepare them for the modern world. This includes helping to develop their literacy skills, analytical thinking and confidence in their ability to communicate through spoken language.

KS3 English

English at Ks3 aims to provide the ability and enthusiasm to develop essential skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students will explore a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts while being exposed to texts from different cultures and eras. Students also have the opportunity to look at works of literature such as poetry, plays and prose.

Key skills
Writing: Spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, vocabulary for effect, language techniques and structural techniques.

Reading: Identifying and interpreting explicit and implicit information, carefully selecting multiple pieces of evidence and exploring various levels of meaning by analysing language used, commenting on writers’ uses of language and structure for meaning and effect using relevant terminology, comparing perspectives and evaluating how successful writers are in achieving their intentions.

Academic writing: Writing analytical ‘What, How, Why, (PETAL) paragraphs and developing layers of analysis in their writing, communicating clearly, effectively and imaginatively using appropriate tone and register, using a range of vocabulary, sentence structures and language devices for impact.

For GCSE English Language you will learn to:

  • Read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
  • Read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • Summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • Use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively

You will be assessed on three main skills: reading, writing and speaking and listening


  • Read 19th, 20th and 21st century texts in a range of genres and types including literature (fiction and non-fiction), essays, reviews and articles.


  • Write in a variety of text types: letter, report, newspaper report, magazine article, journal, words of a speech, a reasoned argument, descriptive and narrative compositions, essays and reviews.

Speaking and Listening:

  • Give a formal presentation of approximately 4–5 minutes, on a theme or topic you choose. Answer spoken questions on the theme or topic for approximately 4–5 minutes.
Term 2023-24 Years 8 & 9 (KS3) Year 10 (KS4) Year 11 (KS4) Lang
Autumn Exploring childhood through stories
This will include extracts from the novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, along with extracts from the film version. We will also look at a collection of Aesop’s fables

Literary Heritage
This unit consists of extracts from Oliver by Charles Dickens and the film A Christmas Carol. It explores childhood in the Victorian times
The Selfish Giant
This unit includes exploring a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, along with watching clips from the film The Selfish Giant, which is about two boys in a ‘coming of age’ story

A selection of poems which explore themes and ideas through the use of poetic devices. Poems by Maya Angelou, Carol-Ann Duffy and Wilfred Owen and more.
Film Across Cultures (AQA English Language skills)
A selection of films, fiction and non-fiction extracts linked to skills required for Paper 1 and Paper 2
Spring Childhood in Other Cultures
A viewing and reading of extracts from the film and novel The Rabbit-Proof Fence. This story is about two Aboriginal children in Australia

Fairy Tales
This will include reading a range of re-written classic fairy tales in the form of plays called Collected Grimm Tales by Carol-Ann Duffy.
Introduction to The Gothic
A range of extracts and film clips exploring this genre and producing a piece of gothic-inspired writing

The Graphic Novel
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
AQA Paper 2 - Reading

AQA Paper 2 - Writing
Summer The Graphic Novel
A reading of the graphic novel version of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Includes the creation of a mini graphic novel as an end of unit project

Diverse Shorts
A selection of short stories from authors around the world
Dystopian Fiction
This unit includes a wide range of dystopian texts. Includes a series of clips from a selection of dystopian films to support understanding of this genre

Non-Fiction Extracts
A selection of extracts to understand this form; these include Chinese Cinderella, Dyslexia and Me and The Dangers of a Single Story
AQA Paper 1 - Reading

AQA Paper 2 - Writing

AQA GCSE English Language (8700)

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing is worth 50% of the GCSE grade. This exam will last for one hour and 45 minutes.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives is worth 50% of the GCSE grade. This exam will last for one hour and 45 minutes

Edexcel Entry Level qualification in English at Level 1, 2 or 3

The Entry Level Certificate sits below GCSE qualifications. Entry Level 3 represents achievement below a GCSE Grade 1. The Pearson Edexcel Entry Level Certificate in English covers the appropriate aspects of the Key Stage 4 programme of study in English.

You will develop understanding and skills in:

  • Speaking, Listening and Communication: take full part in formal and informal discussions and exchanges that include unfamiliar subjects.
  • Reading: read and understand a range of straightforward texts.
  • Writing: write in a range of texts to communicate information, ideas and opinions using formats and styles suitable for their purpose and audience.

How you will be assessed:

  • Speaking, listening and communication: A formal discussion and an informal group discussion.
  • Reading: Two texts based on a single context. The two texts will comprise: one narrative text, eg a newspaper article, one informative text, eg a letter, timetable, leaflet. You will answer questions on both texts.
  • Writing: One task worth 15 marks, (such as writing a letter or a newspaper article), and a shorter task worth 10 marks, (such as writing an email). You will complete both tasks. 40% of the marks for each task will be allocated to spelling, punctuation and grammar.